May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,  that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
There are so many wonderful titles that describe our God whom we worship. I love the way the Apostle Paul describes Him in verse 5; the God of endurance and encouragement. Endurance and encouragement are things that we desperately need in our walk with Christ. God wants us to make it. He has made it possible for us to endure. He is also able to encourage us along the way.
What does Paul desire that God grant to us? That we are so unified as a body of believers that we would glorify God himself. The reality is that if we are not unified there is no way that we can truly glorify God. Jesus said that they will know we are his disciples by our love one for another (John 13:35). If we love one another we will be unified.
We all have many voices, but the Word of God is telling us here that we should glorify God with one voice. Is this contradictory? After all, there are so many different denominations which represent a variety of differences throughout the body of Christ? How is it that we, who have such different voices, can glorify God with one voice?
We can glorify God with one voice by emphasizing what we have in common rather than emphasizing our differences. Too many times we get caught up in arguments over non-essential doctrinal points and fail to see the beauty of celebrating our common ground. Unified believers celebrate things like: our love of God, forgiveness in Jesus Christ, and the truth of Scripture.
In what ways have you been successful in living in harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ? In what ways have you spent too much time arguing over non-essential doctrines? How can you strive more for harmony?
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